Make a Difference (Musically) in the New Year

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Make a differenceThe New Year always causes us to stop and think. We make resolutions. Sometimes we keep them. This year my only resolution is to remember to make a difference. Musically and otherwise.

There is one incident I recall that showed me just how much our music can make a difference to others, whether we are aware of it or not.

I was flipping through my folder of Christmas music recently and I came across a handwritten note. I see the note every year, and I keep it with my Christmas music on purpose to refresh my perspective when the season gets crazy busy.

It was given to me one afternoon at a background music job I was playing. It was an easy job, just a few hours of soothing holiday music in a dentist’s office waiting room. The harp music was a holiday treat from the dentist to the patients, and everyone in the office seemed to appreciate the live music.

The job was easy to play. The room was quiet to start with; I didn’t have to compete with the noise and energy of a cocktail party. The people were nice. In fact, there was so little stress about the job that my mind wandered, and the time ticked by rather more slowly than on gigs where I had to concentrate harder. I thought instead about my undone Christmas shopping and my job later that night.

And then it happened. A woman slipped a piece of paper to me in between selections, and said how grateful she was to have heard the music. Then she left the dentist’s office, and I never saw her again. But her note left a lasting impression. It was a poignant reminder to me of the difference we make every time we play. This was what she wrote:

On Monday, December 16 my daughter MariAnna was born. Today is our first day out exploring the world. What a magical place to come. MariAnna and I are being surrounded by such a heavenly musical treat. My family has always loved music and I want to pass that love to my children. Thank you so much for the beautiful harp music.

How can you make a difference with music in the New Year?

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